Why Willpower is Never Enough and What to do About It | Roy Baumeister

Willpower alone is never enough to overcome an obstacle, resist temptation, or reach your destiny.

In fact, as the day wears on, it gets weaker the more we use it. You must manage your willpower in order to be effective.

You know this all too well if you have ever attempted a strict diet or tried to summon the energy to start your term paper early. Willpower is never enough. But what do you do about that?

Why Willpower is Not Enough
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The Worst-Case Scenario

Worst-case scenarios are a waste of time and energy.

Words are powerful. Forget the worst-case scenario.

Can you even imagine the following conversation?

Husband: We should take a vacation.

Wife: Yes we should. Let’s go to Hawaii.

Husband: That sounds great. Worst-case scenario is that we die in a plane crash on the way there.

Or this one…

Leadership Lessons from the 12 Steps

There is a way to recover from bad leadership behaviors. It is found in the 12 steps.

Yesterday I wrote about the three leadership lessons I learned attending a recovery group. Today I want to share the seven lessons for leaders and aspiring leaders that the 12 Steps give us.

What are the 12 Steps exactly? I list them below along with the lessons. Essentially, they are a systematic pathway to recovery or improvement. And they work. If you work them.


Here are the steps along with the lessons:

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors, that our lives had become unmanageable.

This step is applicable to every area of life.

This is, by far, the hardest step for leaders to admit. You got this far on your own. You are strong and in control. People look up, and often fear, you.

But you have a compulsive habit of snapping at people with bad ideas, or reacting harshly to criticism, or over-working. If you have dealt with anything like this for more than five years, it is out of control. It is unmanageable. The first step is to admit that.